The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
The Prodigal Son
Many of you have probably read the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), and if you saw the prodigal son’s father as symbolic of God the Father and you or someone you know as the prodigal son or daughter who stopped believing in his or her father, would your life look different? Would you or I end up a “pigpen” of our own making? I would think so. Maybe you know of someone who’s fallen away from their faith or belief in God. How different does their life look now? I know of a man whose heart became hardened after he left his belief in God, and he got into sin that is so much worse than even some non-believers that I know of. He’s now into pornography and heavy drinking, and I think he might even be dabbling in drugs. His finances are in ruins, and his marriage is about to be dashed to pieces. His life took a hard turn to the left, and now he’s in worse condition than ever. I’ve been praying that this friend of mine would return to the Father and that he’d be restored once again to faith in God.
The Prodigal Father
Most people call it the Parable of the Prodigal Son, but it could just as easily be called the Parable of the Prodigal Father because the father was hurt the most at the beginning, having his son leave him and ask for his inheritance well before his father’s time. This was like saying to his father, “Father, forget you. I wish you were dead. I want my inheritance now and never want to see you again.” We usually think of Jesus’ suffering on the cross, but didn’t God the Father also suffer by seeing His innocent Son being put to shame and dying a criminal’s death, even though He was completely sinless? How the Father must have suffered, too.
The Wheat and the Tares
I know of some people who say they lost their faith, but I wonder if they ever had it in the first place. The Apostle John wrote about those who have left as if they were really never of the church at all. John says that they left but never really belonged to us, and by their leaving, they proved that they did not belong to us (1 John 2:19). If they had been part of them, they would not have left in the first place, so reasons John. Someday those who believe they are Christ’s will hear the most horrendous words, which is that they thought Jesus was their Lord, but Christ tells them to depart because He never knew them at all (Matt. 7:21-23). I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to find out how my life would look different if I stopped believing in God. Do you?
A Closing Prayer
Great God in heaven, help me to stay close to You so that I never depart in unbelief and forsake the only hope there is in the world (Acts 4:12) because it would not go well with my soul; of that I am sure. In Jesus’ precious name I pray.
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